Ransomware attacks take down Sammamish city hall and Salisbury PD

Two municipalities were hit with ransomware attacks that effectively shut down large portions of their computer networks, restricting access to many records.

The affected entities are the City of Sammamish, Wash., and the Salisbury, Md. Police Department.

Sammamish city officials deemed the attack, which hit on Jan. 23, severe enough to declare an emergency, which allowed the city to bring in outside security professionals to help mitigate the problem, reported KIRO7. The city is currently working to assess exactly which systems are impacted, the level of penetration the attackers achieved, and how to regain access to the data.

“The city’s computer system is under a ransomware attack. We are bringing in a security expert to assist the city with assessing which systems have been affected and to what extent,” the city tweeted.

The Salisbury Police Department’s ransomware attack was equally severe. reported the department’s entire network has been compromised by the Jan. 9 attack, locking up all its files. Once the attack was noted, steps were taken to limit the scope of the attack by disconnecting the affected systems from the rest of the network.

The department also attempted to negotiate with the attackers, who asked for an undisclosed amount of money to free the files, but these negotiations quickly broke down. The department used back-up files to restore its critical systems by Jan. 11, with most of the remaining systems coming back online by Jan. 14. Some data still remains irretrievable at this time.

This is the third such attack to his Salisbury’s police in the last five years, but this is by far the most severe incident, reported.

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